Explaining learning achievement in student experience of blended learning

What can a sociomaterial perspective contribute?


  • Feifei Han
  • Robert Ellis




learning achievements, biology, blended learning


Drawing on theories of student approaches to learning and sociomaterial perspectives on learning, we investigated how a combination of sociocognitive and sociomaterial variables explain variation in 365 students’ learning achievement in a first year human biology blended learning course in an Australian research intensive university. We used a close-ended questionnaire to measure students’ approaches to learning through inquiry, approaches to using online learning technologies, and their use of on-campus physical learning spaces. We obtained use of online learning tools in terms of frequency and duration through analytics provided by a proprietary learning management system. Students’ learning achievement was evaluated using six assessment tasks in the course. Correlation analyses were conducted to examine the relationship between approaches, use of online learning tools, use of oncampus physical learning spaces, and achievement. Based on the correlation results, we regressed learning achievement on approaches, use of online learning tools and physical learning spaces. The results showed that by introducing sociomaterial variables into the regression model, a significant proportion of learning achievement was explained over and above the explanations offered by sociocognitive factors alone, highlighting the important role of both sociocognitive and sociomaterial factors in blended learning.






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